The Russian Anti-Doping Agency says the findings of a report accusing it of financial irregularities "cannot be considered reliable" ©Getty Images

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has hit back at the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) in a row over an audit of RUSADA.

The ROC and RPC initiated the audit, which was carried out in March and April and examined the operational effectiveness of RUSADA and its internal control system, as well as its finances.

They claim it "revealed a number of significant irregularities in the financial and economic activities" of RUSADA and published the report online.

However, in a statement, RUSADA has hit back at the ROC and RPC, saying aspects of what the two organisations have said in relation to this audit "does not correspond to reality".

Among the points RUSADA raises, it rejects the suggestion that director general Yuriy Ganus initially selected an auditing firm not rated among among the top 100 in Russia to look into the organisation's finances for 2018 and 2019, stating that only a general meeting of members can selected an auditing company.

The firm ultimately chosen to conduct the audit was FinExpertiza, but RUSADA questioned whether it was accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency to carry out such work.

The report's contents "clearly indicate that the auditor did not understand the organization of the activities of the national anti-doping agency, and therefore its findings cannot be considered reliable and cannot reflect the objective state of affairs within RUSADA", it claimed.

RUSADA also points to passing WADA audits for compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code in 2017 and 2018.

"The ROC and RPC, giving public this contradictory report, did not even try to get clarifications from RUSADA, thus confirming the fact that they themselves are not fully versed in organization of professional activities of anti-doping agencies", continues the statement.

"RUSADA expresses its deep disappointment with the fact that the ROC and RPC posted on their website information that was 'strictly confidential' (Section 1.4 of the Report).

"RUSADA is carefully studying the comprehensive consequences of such disclosure."

It has been suggested that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's leadership, including director general Yuriy Ganus, consider stepping aside to allow an investigation to take place ©Getty Images
It has been suggested that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's leadership, including director general Yuriy Ganus, consider stepping aside to allow an investigation to take place ©Getty Images

RUSADA's rebuke of the report and allegations of "significant irregularities" comes after Mikhail Degtyarev, the head of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs, suggested leadership figures such as Ganus should consider temporarily stepping aside so a full investigation can be carried out.

"The situation surrounding RUSADA’s financial activities raises serious concerns," Degtyarev said, reported by Russia's state news agency TASS

"Over the past years, we have been restoring RUSADA’s reputation with all our might and millions of budget funds have been invested in the organization’s activities. 

"Doping control is one of the priority areas of sports policy , the attention of all international sports organizations is riveted to us.

"In the event of evidence of abuse of funds, I think that the reaction should be the most severe. 

"Perhaps, for a more complete and impartial investigation, the agency’s leadership should think about temporarily leaving their posts."

Ganus, appointed director general in 2017, oversaw WADA's controversial reinstatement of RUSADA after it was declared non-compliant in 2015.

However, in December, WADA’s Executive Committee approved the recommendation of its Compliance Review Committee to again deem RUSADA non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code for failing to provide an "authentic" copy of the Moscow Laboratory's data.

It alleged that data was manipulated before being handed over to investigators, which was a requirement for restoring RUSADA's compliance with the Code in 2018.

Among the sanctions WADA has imposed on RUSADA is a four-year ban on the Russian flag flying at the Olympic Games or any World Championships.

Russia is also set to be stripped of any World Championships it has been awarded hosting rights to, although RUSADA has appealed the WADA decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.